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COVID 19 Shifting Paradigms in Higher Education: Applying Frameworks from Social Determinants of Health to Understanding and Tackling BAME Educational Inequalities

Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment

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Dr A Adefila No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified UK/EU graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship at one of the University Research Centres (Global Learning: Education and Attainment – GLEA), for a September 2020 start. The Centre conducts fundamental research that impacts upon the higher education sector, creating better futures and societies.

This transdisciplinary study seeks to apply insights in health inequalities in relation to structural determinants of health in order to develop structural and personalised interventions for BAME students in Higher Education. It examines the connection between health inequalities, understood via structural determinants of health models and BAME student attainment. Investigating in particular, the connection between COVID-19 BAME health and its impact on BAME students, directly and indirectly. This will lead to an exploration of new paradigms and the development of pedagogical practices based on holistic delivery, which integrates indigenous knowledges and decolonised classroom practices.

Using a mixed methodology, the research will interrogate existing datasets quantitatively to determine correlations between health and educational inequalities. Informed by critical frameworks developed by public health scholars, this study will interrogate how to apply identified upstream and downstream interventions used in public health because of insights from analysis of structural determinants of health. The qualitative element will focus on developing suitable pedagogical practices.

The studentship will focus on the following:
1. Examining existing evidence of the link between structural determinants of health for BAME people and their educational participation, outcomes and attainment.
2. Investigating the short and medium-term impact on BAME students of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Identifying factors that might mitigate any disadvantage experienced by students.
4. Developing a more caring and holistic pedagogy, which will reimagine the role of academics and their relationship and responsibility towards students.
Training and Development
The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.
Entry criteria for applicants to PHD
• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
For further details see:
How to apply
To find out more about the project please contact Dr Arinola Adefila – [Email Address Removed]

To apply on line please visit:

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus an up to 2000-word statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

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